So many times, we fear taking up our space or changing because of what it will do to the important relationships in our lives. I have struggled with this my whole life. The difference now is that I at least know when I’m taking up less space than is mine to take.
Below is a clip from an exchange with a client. This is my response to the client’s perceived rupture in our relationship. Shared with explicit permission:
“Thank you for writing me and telling me more about what’s going on in your mind. I want to share a story with you that I hope will help you see how you will likely never lose my trust in you or our relationship. I say “never likely” because there ARE things you could do to lose my trust: actively lead me to believe something that’s untrue, hurt my children in some way, or spread a malicious lie about me.
This leads me to my story. I have a voice in my head that tells me the world is unsafe and that my relationships are tenuous. I shared a bit about this with my nephew and he gave me something concrete to hang on. Basically, he said that I’d have to actively be an asshole, for at least three months with no remorse, for the family to even consider that something was wrong with me and I wasn’t handling it. My reply was that surely I’d know I was being an asshole for at least three months. He assured me that I’d be sure in this knowledge of my own behavior.
I have held onto that conversation. It’s a fortifying wall between whatever destructively dark force in me that threatens sabotage and trust in the love that’s present in my life. My thought is that I wouldn’t be surprised, that the rug would not be pulled out from under me, by loss.
I say all of this in hopes that you take the same comfort. You’d have to be a major asshole, which does not come naturally to you, to break our bond. I’m guessing that goes for other bonds you have as well. They are stronger and more resilient than you think.”